In line with the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (the Trafficking in Persons Protocol)’s definition, behaviour of recruiters and recruitment agencies can constitute the crime of trafficking in persons if they recruit a person through fraud, deception, abduction, etc. for the purpose of exploitation. Recruitment agencies also could be part of complex organized criminal groups involved in human trafficking, knowing that the victims were going to be exploited.
Regardless of whether or not the actual exploitation takes place, recruitment through the use of means listed in the trafficking definition for the intended exploitation is sufficient to fulfill the elements of the definition of trafficking in persons. Sometimes recruiters and recruitment agencies may not be aware of the exploitative situations that the victims will eventually find themselves in, but may still engage in practices that make people particularly vulnerable to ending up in exploitative work. While such practices may fall outside the definition of trafficking in persons, they may still contribute to the vulnerability of people and a climate in which trafficking in persons can flourish.
Finally, as also agreed by the ILO, deceptive, coercive, or leveraged recruitment is one of the key elements in trafficking in persons.